Sunday, April 20, 2014

Buttons Come and Buttons Go

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons is my favorite book to use when introducing subtraction.  Children can't resist singing along and participating with the book.  We listen to the free publisher's version of the story.


Afterwards, we made our own Pete the Cats and created our own subtraction problems. In the past, I have used this but this year, I wanted to try something new.  I found several great ideas on Pinterest but ended up making my own version.

Here's how I did it.


I made my own template for Pete the Cat's face but you could probably use this one if needed. I used KinderBlossoms Template for our subtraction word problem. I liked that it was easy enough for them to read on their own.

I monitored students as they created their word problems.  I did not let them glue on their buttons until they had shared their problem with me.  This gave me a chance to do a quick check on who needed more support.  Most students only had one button pop off but a few choose to do more.

When we create these types of craft lessons, I like to break it up into small chunks of learning so that everyone is successful.  I usually model a portion and then they go and do it.  I also do not keep all the supplies needed out in the open.  They had to tell me how many buttons they were making before getting those supplies.  They also had to ask me for the accordion folds to make their buttons pop off.  I find that this way helps me know what they are doing but it also alleviates some of the rush and messiness and makes for a better overall project.  Fast finishers help with cleaning the carpet, recycling,  or help friends.  It does take a bit more time but it is worth it.

What are your favorite ways to teach subtraction?

Happy Teaching!

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